One day after President Donald Trump called Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski “low I.Q.” and “crazy” via his Twitter platform while claiming she had a “face-lift,” Brzezinski and her fellow cohost Joe Scarborough hit back at the president in a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post, titled “Donald Trump is not well”, and on-air as well.
“President Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal. America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president. We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show, Morning Joe,” the pair wrote.
Brzezinski and Scarborough noted had Trump has long held an “unhealthy obsession” with the show and frequently posted negative comments about the broadcast on Twitter.
“The president’s unhealthy obsession with our show has been in the public record for months, and we are seldom surprised by his posting nasty tweets about us,” they wrote. “During the campaign, the Republican nominee called Mika ‘neurotic’ and promised to attack us personally after the campaign ended. This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.”
On Friday’s Morning Joe, Brzezinski and Scarborough addressed Trump and the tweets as well. “It’s been fascinating, frightening, and really sad for our country,” Brzezinski said, before stating she was doing “fine” after his attacks. “My family brought me up really tough. This is absolutely nothing. But for me, I am really concerned what this reveals about the President of the United States. It’s strange.”
“We’re okay. The country is not,” added Scarborough, who then noted how Trump, “for some reason, takes things so much more personally with women. He’s so much more vicious with women.”
Scarborough then relayed a story he claimed to have been told by a “well-known congressmen” who had a meeting with Trump earlier this year. “‘He scared me because he was vicious when he turned from you to Mika,'” Scarborough said he was told. “‘His face was red. He started talking about blood coming out of her ears, out of her eyes.’ This congressman said, ‘I’ve been in politics for decades and I’ve never seen anyhing like this. I don’t know why I’m calling you but I was just scared for you guys.'”
Added Scarborough, “He always goes after Mika. It’s always personal with Mika. … He attacks women because he fears women.”
In response to the broadcast, Trump tweeted, “Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show.”
Scarborough followed up Trump’s tweet with one of his own, pushing against Trump’s Enquirer claim. “Yet another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven’t spoken with you in many months,” he wrote.
Later on Friday, Dylan Howard, chief content officer and vice president at American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer, released a statement about the claims. “At the beginning of June, we accurately reported a story that recounted the relationship between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the truth of which is not in dispute,” Howard said. “At no time did we threaten either Joe or Mika or their children in connection with our reporting on the story. We have no knowledge of any discussions between the White House and Joe and Mika about our story, and absolutely no involvement in those discussions.”
American Media is owned by David Pecker, who is a friend of Trump.
On Thursday, Trump claimed via Twitter that he no longer watched Morning Joe before attacking the hosts. “How come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me,” Trump wrote. “She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
In response, Brzezinski and Scarborough called Trump’s statements “false” and “laughable” and noted his personal attack against Brzezinski was a “lie.”
“Putting aside Mr. Trump’s never-ending obsession with women’s blood, Mika and her face were perfectly intact, as pictures from that night reveal,” they wrote. “And though it is no one’s business, the president’s petulant personal attack against yet another woman’s looks compels us to report that Mika has never had a face-lift. If she had, it would be evident to anyone watching “Morning Joe” on their high-definition TV. She did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret. Her mother suggested she do so, and all those around her were aware of this mundane fact.”
Brzezinski and Scarborough also took Trump to task for his repeated “mistreatment of women,” citing Megyn Kelly (whom Trump said was “bleeding out of her whatever” after the debates last year) and Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape (where he bragged about being able to grab women “by the p—y” because of his fame). “It is disturbing that the president of the United States keeps up his unrelenting assault on women. From his menstruation musings about Megyn Kelly, to his fat-shaming treatment of a former Miss Universe, to his braggadocio claims about grabbing women’s genitalia, the 45th president is setting the poorest of standards for our children. We were heartened to hear a number of Republican lawmakers call out Mr. Trump for his offensive words and can only hope that the women who are closest to him will follow their examples. It would be the height of hypocrisy to claim the mantle of women’s empowerment while allowing a family member to continue such abusive conduct.”